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Lady N's picture
Joined: 06/26/2010

Author - Alex Lang

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When I awoke for the first time, the world around me had changed. A foggy haze coated my mind, imprints of emotions penetrating through the smoke with no memories that followed.

I was alone.

Nothing around me but gnarled up trees, emerging roots, engrossed bushes and other varieties of vegetation. A breeze rushed through yet I felt nothing, I recognized nothing. Laughter could be heard from a distance and a hunger seeped into my being, a yearning.

I want to remember; what was it like to be joyful? What was despair? My feet followed the sounds, bare and untouched by the thorns and bristles that spotted the ground. Something coated the air, a soft sweet smell that reminded me of mead with juniper berries. Apple pies and fresh dumplings, yet one would think that it would be too cold for such pleasantries. Was it cold? My body felt freezing, paralyzed with each step I took.

Something was terribly wrong, but I couldn’t quite put together what it was. Everything was wrong. I didn’t remember falling asleep in the woods and last I remember it was winter time, snow glazed the ground and I wasn’t alone. Someone was with me, someone I trusted, someone I loved. A lover?

Red hair flashes in my vision, a handsome smile. It’s like a vision, faded laughter, my hand tries to reach out to her, voice calling out. What was her name? Eyes of veridian sparkle like light off a lake’s surface. My body wants to reach out. She’s before me, laughing and cheering. I give chase. We ghost through the trees and the brush, her joy echoing in a distant void. No matter how fast I went, she was faster, getting further and further from me.

“Wait!” As soon as my voice finally tears through my lips, I break through the cage of the forest and find myself on a road that I don’t recall. The girl I had been following was nowhere in sight. Just clumps of trees, a road being overgrown by moss and dirt. Birds fluttered amongst the stone, picking at their prey. Another wave of desire consumes me, my tongue becoming moist with my own saliva.

Left or right? The questions swirled in my head, feet frozen in place. My mind rejected the idea of moving, a feeling tearing its claws into my chest. Choose, I plead with myself. My mind is a whirl, a cascading gale wind wreaking havoc. Fighting through the panic, I make myself move, breaking the chains my mind had began to create.

The sounds of snapping draws my eyes towards where I had emerged from the forest. Vines twisted amongst themselves from where I stood, torn and rotten. My gaze goes to my ankles and I see marks of red lines around them. Small puffs of air fills my chest, heart pounding. Another gust of wind, the sounds of laughter, maniacal and cruel, then a female’s voice. Run!

I ran. I ran until I could run no more. Until a wall had been created in my mind and I stopped right in the middle of a gloomy town where people dragged their feet. Decaying signs with morbid names swung back and forth. The inn, aptly named Dead Man’s Drink, wafted out the scent of apple pie and alcohol. Despite my hunger though, I felt nauseous at the thought of having food. Instinct begged me to cover up my nose and I did, glaring at the inn as I passed by.

“It’s a chilly day,” a woman’s voice causes me to stop. She reminds me of no one, an older lady with sagging skin and who probably thought of the golden days of her youth.

The man she spoke to, a nord with a mammoth sized nose, sniffed. “Aye, though fitting for the today. You do remember?”

Remember? I wanted to remember, but my head agonized over the thought, various emotions fought in a war with one another. Was it a chilly day? I didn’t notice, it seemed okay and for the most part there was sun.

A tear sleeps from the woman’s eye. “Yes, such a terrible tragedy to a beautiful girl.” Her hand goes to her chest where an amulet of Arkay hangs dully. “Gods protect her.”

Their talk no longer interests me, my eyes dashing from one part of the town to another. Run! Where is the voice coming from?! Dammit run! My feet went their own path, getting lost in the dirty streets, running into people and saying my excuses. Strands of hair flew in my eyes and I pushed them out. Run! Faster! You have to get away! To where? Where do I go? Where can I go?

Something is gaining on me, pursuing me. Screams echo, making the ground tremble. No, I can’t let them catch me! I can’t die here! I cry out for help, waving my arms frantically, hollering and sobbing.

Nobody notices me.

“Why won’t you help me?!” My voice echoes and before I know it, I am standing before a graveyard. The presence wraps its arms around me. Chill finally fills my body as my eyes watches a casket being set into the ground, a man and a woman crying, a priest reciting prayers.

I know this place.

My body is motionless. The graveyard seems so much bigger now. When had it gotten like this? How did this happen to my home? Right where a good clump of the graves were used to be my home. Now it’s existence was another memory for me to ponder. Quietly, as if I were a ghost, I walked up to the group of people putting someone to rest. It seemed to be a child, the coffin was so small, so fragile. Agonizing starvation hits me, I keel over for a moment, bending myself in half. Nobody notices my pain.

Why?! Why are they ignoring me?!

“Hey!” I screamed then I howled only for my words to turn into shrieking that could make ears bleed. That is, if they could hear me. “Notice me!” The plea is pathetic, my body lumbering towards the woman who dabbed away at her eyes. My hand lays out stretched. “I’m right here! Why can’t you-” as soon as my hand meets her shoulder I fall flat on my face.

She shivers. “Honey, are you okay?” It’s a male voice, her husband.

“Yeah, just a shiver is all.” Her voice is choked, clawing into her husband’s arms as I laid there pale and rigid.

They couldn’t see me. For the first time I looked down at myself, taking notice of my luminescent skin, the dark red stains at my fingertips. Tears slip from the corners of my eyes.

“What happened to me?”

It wouldn’t be until my first heart that the answer would be revealed.


Lady N's picture
Joined: 06/26/2010

This piece was written for our 20th anniversary fan art contest! It is strictly property of its original creator - you may not modify, publish, or redistribute it without explicit permission from the artist.